The latest World, National and local news from major web portals, newspapers and television networks. Includes news from major web news sources like the New York Times and MSNBC, meme trackers such as Memeorandum and Tailrank, international news sites from around the world and local news from over 100 US newspaper sites,
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New York Times

Content: *****  Usability: XXXX
mobile.nytimes.com (xhtml-mp)

 NY Times Mobile Image You won't get much argument, The Times is the US's best newspaper. I know, newspapers are becoming irrelevant - but The Times is an American institution, an icon.

The Times' mobile site includes content from all the Time's sections as well as from the Internation Herald Tribune which it publishes. There's also some mobile specific content includin wheather forcasts for any city in the world and currency exchange rates.

The Times has experimented with different payment models over the years alternating between free and paywalled. Currently the Times' mobile site uses a modified paywall that lets user read 10 articles per month for free.


CNN

(folder) 2 items
CNN has excellent coverage but the official mobile site is only available on partner mobile networks. The first listing is the on-deck site. If it doesn't work for you try one of the alternate versions below which should work on any device, any network.
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MSNBC

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
tv.msnbc.com/ (xhtml-mp)

Cable TV news channel MSNBC stated out in 1996 as a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft. When NBC bought out Microsoft's share last year the msnbc.com desktop and mobile news sites started redirecting to nbcnews.com. The MSNBC online presence disapeared for several months but eventually resurfaced  at tv.msnbc.com with a complete visual overall.

MSNBC features an unabashedly liberal bent to its reporting and is seen as a counterpoint to the very conservative Fox News network.

MSNBC which is a WordPress.com's VIP site uses browser detection to serve a separate mobile template to phone browsers.


Screenshots:

MSNBC Homepage MSNBC - Hardball With Chris Matthews Page


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Google News Touch

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
www.google.com/news/i (xhtml-mp)

iPhone, Android version of Google News. It uses geolocation to serve local news based on where you are and hasa a more attractive layout, more content per page and more and larger images than the basic mobile versiion at news.google.com/m/news.

IPhone, Android, WebOS and bada browser visitors to news.google.com are redirected to the touch version. But it also works well in Opera Mobile, Opera Mini, Firefox Mobile and Symbian Belle browsers it you enter the URL www.google.com/news/i

 


What's This?

Google News

Content: *****  Usability: XXXX
news.google.com/news/m/ (xhtml-mp/wml)

  Next Bus Image 2    Google News Image 1  The mobile version of Google News. There's also a "Touch Web" version at google.com/news/i The great thing about Google's mobile service is that the way it works is not only good for users but also benefits the mobile web as a whole.

The full-sized Google News site has been around for years. Unlike most news portals which employ flesh and blood editors to select stories from the various wire services, other sites and even from blogs, Google uses special search-based technology to determine what articles to include in News and which of those articles are timely enough and newsworthy enough to deserve placement on the start page. While there have been some isolated issues with tasteless or worse racist stories getting into Google New's results, Google News generally does a pretty good job of picking up on what's timely and newsworthy. Google News doesn't show the whole article but rather headlines and some teaser text from the article with a link back to the full story on the originating site.

I was eager to see how Google mobilized News. I expected to see a mobile front end on the "big" Google News with a mobile-friendly front page containing links to transcoded copies of the same stories that were featured on the big site. But that's not what Google has done. They are spidering news sites on the mobile web. So the stories on mobile Google News are all from mobile sites. It actually works very well and in doing so shows how mature the mobile web has become. When I checked, both sites had as their top story a piece about Bush's trip to India. The web site's story is from CNN while the mobile site's comes from the Baltimore Sun's mobile edition. Google seems to have no trouble filling the mobile news site with hundreds of stories. Admittedly the web version has many more (thousands) but there is more than anyone can possibly read on the mobile site. Best of all, by linking to mobile sites rather than transcoding full web sites Google is driving traffic to those mobile sites - which will help to make the mobile web grow.

  Google News Image 4    Google News Image 3  The best thing about Google News isn't the front page of algorithmically selected top stories, it's the search. This is true of both the desktop and mobile versions. Enter a search string and you will get a page of links to news stories meeting your search criteria. And because it's a Google search, you can use most the advanced features of Google's search language. I've tried "OR", parentheses "+", and "site:" - they all work on Google News, including mobile.

I congratulate Google on a very nice mobile service that showcases the depth of content on today's mobile web.


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Yahoo News

Content: *****  Usability: XXXXX
m.yahoo.com/w/ynews (xhtml-mp)

Excellent site for National, International, Technical and Entertainment News. No Local News.


Politics

(folder) 9 items

News and opinion sites primarily covering US or international politics or espousing a particular political view

US Local by State

(folder) 12 items
US local newspaper, TV and radio station mobile news pages.

Meme Trackers

(folder) 4 items
A meme (rhymes with theme) according to Wikipedia, is a "unit of cultural information" such as "...tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches." As used in the Web 2.0 world it seems to have come to mean "hot topic" or "the next big thing". A lot of people have a need to know the day's newest and hottest memes and a number of Web sites attempt to track just that. The first was probably Gabe Rivera's news and politics site memeorandum.com which uses an algorithm to pick the top stories from a combination of traditional news sites and blogs. Memeorandum developed quite a following and eventually spun off sister sites Techmeme, WeSmirch (gossip) and BallBug (baseball) and a small army of competitors.

The meme tracker is spreading to the mobile web. This section lists mobile meme trackers.

International

(folder) 7 items
International News. This directory lists mobile-friendly news sites from around the world.

Environmental

(folder) 4 items

Sites covering environmental issues, the "green" movement and sustainable living.

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NBC News

Content: *****  Usability: XXXX
www.nbcnews.com/ (HTML5)

 Forbes on MSNBC ImageOnline and mobile news site opperated by the US broadcast TV network NBC. There is no dedicated URL for the mobile site as far as I know, but if you go to www.nbc.com with almost any mobile browser, the site's browser detection kicks in to serve mobile pages. It's a typical multi section news portal much in the style of CNN's and the BBC's mobile sites. 

NBC News has a much more content than you would think from looking at the front page which lists which lists only nine sections (Business, Sports, U.S.News, World News, Politics, Tech & Science, Entertainment, Health, Travel). There are actually a number of additional mobile sections which are more or less hidden. When you click of a story about the situation in Palestine you find that story is part of a Middle East and North Africa page which has links to five other stories focused on that part of the world. The sports page currently has a link to only one NFL related article but when you follow that link you find yourself in an extensive NFL section with 15 more pro football articles. These hidden sections are especially evident in the business pages. I found dedicated Business Week, Forbes and Motley Fool sections.

I've discovered that the URL's of most of these hidden sections on NBC News are persistent. They aren't memorable urls being distinguished from one another only a numeric id but they do consistently return a page with the same title but fresh content. An easy way to find these hidden NBC News sections is to open the site in your PC browser. Most of the sections which don't show up in the mobile menu are listed in the left sidebar. Others show up in the top navigation bar when you open a story on the PC site. It turns out that the URL's on the PC site and the mobile site are the same - so if you open the Business Week link in the sidebar you will see that the url is www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032154/. If you enter that URL in a mobile browser you get a mobile formated version of the Business Week page. Not every PC page has a corresponding mobile version. None of the Multimedia pages have a mobile equivalent nor do the Sports sections. Still I'd say that 70% to 80% of NBC News's content is available on mobile. Here are some the ones I've found.

The NBC News mobile pages are attractive and quite usable on most phones.

I don't know why NBC News is hiding so much of their mobile content but I'll be adding links to all the hidden sections listed above and any others I find to the WapReview.com Mobile Site Directory.


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CBS News

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
m.cbsnews.com/ (HTML5)

mobile news site from the US TV network CBS..


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AP News

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
apnews.com (xhtml-mp)

AP News iPhone EditionThe Associated Press, US wire service and supplier of stories to most online news sites, has its own mobile site.

AP seems to making a serious effort to compete with mobile news market leaders like Yahoo, BBC, CNN, The New York Times and Google, most of which are also AP customers.

The portal's design is similar to other mobile news sites, a front page of about a dozen headlines grouped under section headers like U.S. News, World News, Local News... The unique feature of the site is it's local coverage. The AP is a cooperative of over 1700 local newspapers which should make it a good source of local news. You can customize the mobile site's front page to display local news headlines for one or multiple US zipcodes. You choices are saved with a cookie, there's no need (and no way) to log on.

Mobile News Network comes in a regular mobile version and a special iPhone one. Browser detection is used to deliver the iPhone edition only to iPhones, which is too bad as their are other mobile browsers like Opera and WebKit that could easily display the iPhone sites's content except for the videos. The regular site has a very plain appearance with a minimum of formatting and no photos on the front page. More effort seems to have gone into the iPhone variant which has typical iPhone chrome and a thumbnail image for each headline. iPhone users also get videos in full 480x320 iPhone resolution and the ability to customize the homepage by hiding sections. Other than the videos, the news content seems to be identical in both versions.

More...


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Reuters

Content: ****1/2  Usability: XXXX
mobile.reuters.com/ (xhtml-mp)

A well designed mobile site from the big international news service, Reuters. Many sections and features Including sports, business, global stock quotes, technology and entertainment. Stories are full length. The site services customized content (WAP1 or WAP2, images resized to fit the screen) based on browser capabilities. Some pages are, however too big (over 6KB) for most WAP1 phones - many of which can't handle over 2 KB.


What's This?

Salon.com

Content: *****  Usability: XXX
www.salon.com (xhtml-mp)

Salon.com is a long running (since 1995) and popular online magazine.  It covers music, books, music, technology, trends, sports and politics with lengthy, well-written articles.

Mobile is nothing new to Salon which launched it's an Avantgo "feed" for use on PDAs in 2000.

Salon recently launched a thoroughly modern "responsive" site at www.salon.com which works well in both desktop browsers and modern smartphones. Pages average about 4 MB, too large for older phones and very slow to load on 2G connections. Using a proxy browser like Opera Mini is recomended in those cases.


What's This?

USA Today

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
m.usatoday.com/ (HTML5)

Full length stories from the newspaper. Includes stories from the News, Sports, Money, Life, Travel and Tech sections. markup errors prevent both the wml and xhtml versions of this site from loading on many older phones with Nokia and Openwave browsers.


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ABC News

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
abcnews.go.com/m/ (xhtml-mp)

Lots of long, thorough stories from the TV network's news organization. Includes, Financial, Technology, Health and Movie News in addition to National and International.

 


What's This?

Fox News

Content: ***  Usability: XXX
foxnews.mobi (xhtml-mp)
The conservative US TV news network's mobile site.
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Newsvine

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
www.newsvine.mobi (HTML5)

 Newsvine Newsvine is a popular, user driven news site. It works a little like Digg in that stories are user submitted and voted on by members. But Newsvine is much mellower and more focused than Digg. The site's Code of Honor stresses respect for others, relevance and avoiding sensationalism. The code seems to be followed remarkably well making the site a fine online news source covering US and world news, sports, tech, business, health and entertainment. The site's front page has top stories from all topic areas and there are also 17 separate category pages which function as category specific front pages.

There are three kinds of stories on the Newsvine front page and topic specific pages;

  • Wire service stories reproduced in their entirety on Newsvine.
  • "Seeded" stories which user submitted (seeded) links to external sites. Seeded stories have a Newsvine launch page with a brief excerpt or synopsis by the user who submitted the story and then a link to the full story on the external site.
  • Stories by Featured Writers which are user written stories published on Newsvine. These are a little like blog items with comments and the ability to read an archive of each writer's items.

The mobile edition of Newsvine does a good job of presenting all the content of the PC site in a format that is easy to understand and navigate on a mobile device. Category selection is handled by a dropdown at the top of the page. The three types of Newsvine stories are clearly marked and delimited. Which is a good thing for users on a metered data plan, or with browsers that can't handle full-web pages as the Read Article links on the Seeded story launch pages lead directly to full-web sites.

There are however a couple of small usability issues:

  • Images on Newsvine.mobi are wider (250px) than most mobile device screens and will be truncated or resized by the browser. My phone's browser can resize images on the fly but pages with images needing resizing load and scroll much more slowly.
  • If you go to Newsvine's PC site with a mobile browser there is code that is supposed to redirect to the .mobi site. Unfortunately the code is JavaScript which, except for high-end smartphones and Opera Mini, mobile browsers don't support. The redirection doesn't work on the browsers that need it most. Go directly to newsvine.mobi to always get the mobile version.

All in all, Newsvine.mobi is a great edition to the the mobile web news universe. I think it compares very well with mainstream mobile news sites like Yahoo, the BBC Google News and the NY Times in timeliness, relevance and article quality.


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Current TV

Content: ****  Usability: XXX
m.current.com/ (xhtml-mp)

Mobile website of Current TV, the television news and entertainment channel started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. A big (170 KB) site best suted to advanced devices it has news, technology, environmental, movie. music and comedy sections.  Many items include iPhone/Android formatted (mp4 480x320, 3MB) videos. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory


What's This?

NPR Text Only

Content: ***  Usability: XXX
thin.npr.org/ (HTML5)
Text only edition of Nation Public Radio's website. Synopsizes of news stories and features from the US public broadcasting network. There are also audio clips which are in Windows Media Audio format probably only playable on Windows Mobile devices.
What's This?

NPR Mobile

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
m.npr.org (xhtml-mp)
National Public Radio, the US public radio network has a new mobile site. It's a general news site with politics, world, business, health and science news sections as well as music, book and movie reviews and feature stories. Most stories include a small photo. Instead of streaming audio, npr has a service where you can listen to broadcast clips by calling a special number. I'm sure the carriers prefer you to use voice minutes instead of unlimited data to listen! NPR's older text only site at thin.npr.org also works well on mobile browsers and does have streaming audio although only in Windows Media format.
What's This?

TIME

Content: ****  Usability: XXX
www.time.com/ (xhtml-mp)

TIME was the first newsweekly magazine in the US and before the rise of the web diminished it's influence, being on the cover of TIME generated immediate nationwide celebrity or notoriety - the cover subjects weren't always the good guys. While not much attention is paid anymore to the weekly cover person, TIMEs annual Person of the Year still generates considerable buzz. TIME.com has been on the web since 1998 and it's current web edition is both very complete and attractively designed with many news photos. A unique feature of TIME.com is it's searchable web archive of every article published since the magazine's founding in 1923. Access to the archived articles is free and requires no registration unlike say the New York Times which charges for it's archives.

TIME uses responsive web design principles to serve a page that works well on both desktop and most mobile browsers. Page size is about 1.3 MB


What's This?

Voice Of America

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
english.voa.mobi/ (xhtml-mp)

Mobile news site from the US government's official international radio and TV broadcasting service. VOA Mobile is available in 21 languages and offers about 30 full length text news stories with photos and 12 five minute podcasts. Source: Mobility.mobi


What's This?

Original Signal News

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
news.originalsignal.com/mobile/ (HTML5)
Original Signal is a web aggregator that displays headlines from the feeds of about 15 preselected high traffic, high volume blogs and news sites sharing the same general topic area. Clicking a Headline takes to the source site's article transcoded by Google. The Original Signal News site draws from The BBC, Yahoo, The New York Times, etc.
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Meet the Press

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/ (xhtml-mp)
MSNBC's mobile web companion to the NBC TV show "Meet the Press". Summaries of past Meet the Press Shows.
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Drudge Report

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
www.idrudgereport.com/ (xhtml-mp)
Drudge ReportMatt Drudge's news site now has a mobile edition, Drudge is credited with many scoops including being the first to report former president Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Drudge PC site contains headlines, news photos and short comments followed by links to full stories on mostly mainstream news sites. The mobile version is the same except that images aren't displayed on the front page, replaced by links to them. When you click on a link that goes to an external news story your are warned that it's not optimized for mobile and given the option to email the link or follow it.

There is another mobile version (jongales.com/drudge/) of the Drudge Report, launched in 2004 by Jon Gales which uses screen scraping to grab and reformat the text and links of the PC site into something more mobile friendly. The new official site has much smaller page and is better suited for mainstream mobiles.
What's This?

Jon Gale's Drudge

Content: ****  Usability: XXX
www.jongales.com/drudge/ (HTML5)
The original mobile Drudge report. Drudge is alternative look at the news emphasizing anti-establishment and bizarre stories. Has a reputation for scooping the majors on breaking news. This is an unofficial mobile version of the Drudge report that mobile developer Jon Gales created long before Drudge himself discovered the mobile web. The official Drudge site has smaller pages and works better on mainstream phones but Opera Mini users will prefer this one as it shows inline images rather than forcing you to click a link to see an image
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Slate

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
mobile.slate.com/ (xhtml-mp)
 Slate Image Slate (mobile.slate.com) is an online news and lifestyle magazine originally owned by Microsoft but now the property of the Washington Post. Slate is quite similar to Salon.com in it's style and the type of articles it features. The mobile edition contains selected articles, features and columns from the full site . Although not the full Slate, the mobile version has quite a bit of content. There are 20 articles from today's coverage plus about the same number for each of the last 14 days in the mobile archive. Sadly, the Doonesbury comic strip - a feature of the PC edition is not available on mobile.
What's This?

City Journal

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
city-journal.org/mobile/ (xhtml-mp)

Mobile edition of a quarterly print magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute. Features well written,  in-depth articles on urban policy and planning. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory


What's This?

Christian Science Monitor

Content: ****  Usability: XXX
www.csmonitor.com/textedition (HTML5)

Christian Science Monitor on mobileThe Christian Science Monitor. is a leading independent international daily news paper which doesn't use wire services, almost every story is written by the WSJ's own reporters. Widely respected for it's journalistic quality, non-sensational reportingand international rather than nationalistic viewpoint.. Although owned by the quirky Church of Christ, Scientist, the Monitor doesn't preach religion although it rarely reports medical related news or anything critical to the religion.

The link at the top of this listing points to the text only edition of the CSM which works well in mobile browsersand is updated several times a day.


What's This?

Digital Journal

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
m.digitaljournal.com/ (xhtml-mp)

"Citizen Journalism" news site carries live general and science news from member reporters and bloggers around the world.  The site shares advertising revenue with contributors.  Register on the PC site at digitaljournal.com in order to comment on articles and submit news items, photos and videos. Source: Mobility.mobi


What's This?

PLANetizen Mobile

Content: ****  Usability: XXX
www.planetizen.com/mobile/ (xhtml-mp)
PLANetizen is a Urban Planning and Design News site. News about new projects, conferences and planning issues. Extensive job listings for planning professionals mainly in the US.
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What's This?
QR Code
It's a QR (Quick Response) Code containing the URL of WapReview Mobile. Snap it with your phone's QR Code reader to go to the WapReview mobile site.

Ratings Key :

Content - 0-5 *'s indicating the quality of the site's writing, depth, timeliness and accuracy.

Usability - 0-5 X's indicating the usability of the site on a mobile device, based on ease and intuitivness of navigation and lack of excessive scrolling through ads etc. to reach main content.